I should be clear and will say again; I do not have any problem with people thinking that Jeremy Corbyn is not a good leader for Labour or if they don’t think he can lead Labour to an election victory. We disagree on both of those points but I don’t have any problem with others holding a different perspective. I have no problem with MPs within Labour disagreeing with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership or of holding a different ideological viewpoint. Raise your objections, fight your corner, vote as your conscience dictates.
What I do object to, what I cannot countenance, is people actively working against Labour from within as we have seen over this past year with Corbyn and, to lesser extents, Miliband and Brown before him. Nobody expects Corbyn’s detractors to suddenly become cheerleaders but there is a line and far too many MPs crossed it. Despite their best efforts to corrupt it, Labour can still consider itself a democratic political party. Commentators who want to pretend that efforts, beyond the normal robust and challenging actions of internal party politics, were executed by the Right of Labour embarrass themselves with their duplicity or ignorance.
Regardless, briefing against Labour, as has been witnessed in the stream of smears and outright lies against Labour’s leadership, CLPs, members and supporters, is neither “just politics” or even effective at achieving the intended aims, all it does is hurt the general public’s perception of Labour. Those who have done it and have committed to continue doing it are either so stupid that they have to be saved from themselves or they are, in reality, intent on wrecking Labour. It might be comforting for them to live with the lie that support for Corbyn’s leadership comes solely from Hard Left Trotsky Dog Nazi Stormtrooping Anti-Semitic Misogynist Bullying Cultist Ignorant Brick Throwing Thugs but we’re not. Anyone who believes that giving your support to people who think that saving Labour requires creating a narrative in the media which portrays the majority of Labour members as such have not been paying much attention to the rejection by the general electorate of negative, ‘dead cat’, ‘dog whistle’, trash talking politics.
So, if you recognise that the people who have been wrecking the public perception of Labour can’t be trusted with your support, what do those people do who genuinely believe in Labour but who don’t believe Corbyn can deliver an election victory? Personally, I would prefer if everyone who is committed to Labour stays and finds their way to fight for the Labour win. Maybe Corbyn can’t deliver a landslide victory for Labour because, maybe politics has moved on from landslide victories. That’s not lack of ambition, though I’m sure it might be a comment that is leapt upon as a sign of lack of confidence in Corbyn’s leadership. British politics has been morphing over the past couple of decades and we are now in unchartered waters, as far as Britain is concerned.
Post Brexit victory Britain places us in an unmapped period of history and a Labour that is not being distracted by the mithering of factions on the Right will not only be at the forefront of deciding Britain’s future but it will best do it representing all Labour’s voices. The signals aren’t good and members will look to the PLP to do its bit to resist the wreckers but Labour needs to face the future as a party and that means Leadership, PLP, NEC, CLPs, members and supporters.